Orange oil appears as a yellow-orange liquid that smells strongly of the orange fruit. It is almost completely made up of a substance called d-limonene and is classified as an essential oil. It is this chemical that gives the orange fruit its distinct smell and taste. Orange oil is extracted from the rind of oranges in large amounts by centrifugation or distillation during the production of orange juice. It comprises almost 1% in volume of the total rind of an orange. Although its appearance and smell closely resembles to that of orange juice, it is non-edible and will cause digestive problems and extreme stomach aches if directly consumed due to its high concentration of the slightly toxic d-limonene. Consuming small amounts of it from substances like orange juice has been shown to produce no effect on human health.
Role In Industry
Because of its strong and pleasant aroma, orange oil plays an important part in many major industries. It is usually added to perfumes and household products to enhance or mask smell. Small amounts of it are also commonly added as flavoring to food and drinks, especially cakes. Today, it is largely present in solvents as an alternative to toxic chemicals, especially turpentine and acetone, because it is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, cheap to produce and can dissolve stains efficiently.
Orange oil has made appearances in pesticides, especially in organic farms because it contains no poisonous substances and is an eco-friendly way to repel insects on plants. It works because of its active ingredient, d-limonene which can dissolve the outer parts of insects but has relatively no effect on plants. It is considered the most natural and effective method to prevent ants and termites from infesting and is often used in kitchens where it poses no health risks compared to other frequently used toxic insect repellents.
Warnings & Precautions
Applying orange oil directly on the skin may cure skin infections quickly in some cases, but make sure it is in its diluted form. Using concentrated amounts can cause burns and an increased sensitivity to sunlight which can lead to extreme discomfort because it eats into your skin. It is also flammable so be sure to keep it out of reach from children.